Happy Flannel Friday!
Recently, we decided to add what we call a Stay and Play time to our Read, Sing, Play Toddlertime every Tuesday morning. I had wanted to do this for years but my former boss never approved the idea. I was a little hesitant to ask my new boss but finally decided to take the chance. I am so glad I did! She loved the idea and we started the very next week.
Since then, I have been garagesale-ing to find age-approproate toys and learning activities for our storytime friends. I have also been creating lots of activities of my own ~ mostly out of felt!
This week's Flannel Friday contribution is the new learning activity for this week's Stay and Play.
The learning activity is made from a Fun Find that I picked up for a song last year after Christmas. (If you are unfamiliar with what I call a Fun Find, just click here for an explanation.)
The Fun Find was felt kits for making Gingerbread Boys and Girls.
I picked the kits up for a couple of dollars a piece and they made 16 Gingerbread kids each! Once I opened them, I decided to do a little tweaking to be able to use my Gingerbread friends with my younger storytime friends.
First, I embroidered the mouths with red thread, then I added eyes by finding little black brads and little pink felt circles were glued on for the cheeks.
Next, I decided to add buttons, bows, and numerals in the colors of the rainbow. Each Gingerbread Boy pair would be able to be matched up by color and by numeral/number of buttons. (The buttons were brads in each color ~ a little bigger than the eye brads.) I also added white felt icing to the arms and legs.
Once each Gingerbread boy was decorated, I glued them to some brown felt so that I could cover up the brads and embroidery threads. This served two purposes: it made the "cookies" safer for the little ones to play with and it made each cookie the same from the back. You'll see why this is important in a minute.
Here are all the Gingerbread Boys ready for the Fun and Games:
There are tons of things I have planned for these cute little guys but the one activity that I wanted to share with my families this week is the Gingerbread Friends Memory Game.
I will be encouraging my storytime parents to use the Gingerbread Kids just like cards in a Memory Game. They will turn all the cookies over to the plain side when they place them in rows on the flannel board or floor. Then they will take turns turning over two at a time with their child as they try to find the pairs. As mentioned before, this can be done by matching colors or by naming the numeral and finding the cookie with the right number of buttons.
Since I was able to buy several kits for such a low price, I have been able to make quite a few sets of both Gingerbread Boys and Girls.
This will allow several parents to play Gingerbread Friends Memory with their children at the same time.
For my other friends, we will have our new kitchen play area set up for making cookies! Complete with bowls, spoons, measuring cups, rolling pins, cookie cutters ~ AND Gingerbread Playdough!
The playdough is homemade so it is easy to clean up and completely edible. It is edible and smells delicious but I didn't say it tasted good! LOL
Here is the no-cook recipe that I like to use:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
Mix together and knead until smooth.
Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.